Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Wisconsin Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) System

Wisconsin’s child welfare system uses Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) to better understand what affects our system’s performance. This deeper understanding helps to guide improvements to child welfare practice, processes, and outcomes.     

What is CQI?

CQI is a circular problem-solving approach. The CQI process begins with many sources of data, such as case record reviews, KidStat measures, and performance dashboards. This data is analyzed to create information and knowledge used to make improvements to Wisconsin’s child welfare system.

Federal CQI Requirements

Federal regulations require all states to have a quality assurance system to assess services as part of their Child and Family Services Plan.  The Children’s Bureau carries out the Child and Family Service Review. The CFSR monitors our quality assurance system.

  • Round 1 CFSRs took place between 2000 and 2004.
  • Round 2 CFSRs took place between 2007 and 2010.
  • Round 3 CFSRs will happen between 2015 and 2018. Wisconsin’s Round 3 CFSR is scheduled for 2018.

To learn more about the CFSR Round 3, visit the federal resources page.

In 2012, the federal Children’s Bureau directed states in an informational memorandum to enhance their quality assurance systems through a CQI approach.

The Wisconsin CQI System

The federal government requires states to have a CQI system to assess and improve child welfare practice and outcomes.

Our state’s child welfare Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system consists of multiple components.  These components include:

  • Qualitative and quantitative data
  • Improvement projects
  • Experimental solutions

The foundation of Wisconsin’s CQI system is collaboration with:

  • Partners within and across state agencies
  • County and tribal child welfare agencies
  • Other key stakeholders such as the Wisconsin Children’s Court Improvement Program
  • Partners in the university system

CQI Reports

Child Welfare Case Records CQI Reports are case record reviews pertaining to Access, Initial Assessment and Ongoing Services in the Wisconsin child welfare system.

From 2005 to 2014, the state used the Quality Service Review protocol. In 2014, DCF updated the CQI process.

CQI Workforce Surveys

The Division of Safety and Permanence within the Department of Children and Families has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Survey Center (UWSC) to conduct a series of brief surveys of the child welfare workforce.  

The Child Welfare and Youth Justice Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Workforce Surveys cover a wide range of topics pertaining to the case workers and supervisors in Wisconsin. The surveys will be a key source of data and information for our child welfare Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program.

CQI Resources

Learn more about Wisconsin’s Child Welfare CQI System here by watching a short video.

For more information about Wisconsin’s Child Welfare CQI System contact DCFChildWelfareCQI@Wisconsin.gov

Ongoing Onsite Case Review: Additional Resources

These additional resources are for agency staff whose cases have been randomly selected for a case review as part of DCF’s Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement process. Agency staff and supervisors are notified when a case has been identified for an Onsite Review.